Puu O Hulu

MODERATE 165 reviews

Puu O Hulu is a 1.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Waianae, Hawaii that offers scenic views and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
1.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
754 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

views

rocky

scramble

This is one of the shortest hikes on Oahu. For many the drive out to this location will take longer than the hike up to the top of Puu O Hulu. Be prepared for a hot and dry climb to a set of bunkers with some of the best views of Nanakuli and Waianae. Puu O Hulu is a small ridge that is situated on the ocean side between Nanakuli and Ma'ili. It is clearly distinguishable from its double back that makes it look like a camel's hump with a water tank lodged in the middle. This split between the ocean side (kai) versus the inland side (uka) makes for an interesting hike albeit an very open exposed ridge hike. It can get narrow in certain spots with drop offs to the left and right; though nothing dangerous. There are a number of bunkers at the top with the most spectacular pillbox painted a hot pink(!) Take your time to enjoy the 360 degree views. On a clear day you can see all the way to Kaena Point in the west, Mount Kaala in the North and Kapolei/Campbell Industrial Park in the south.

hiking
1 hour ago

hiking
1 day ago

hiking
5 days ago

This was my first hike on the west side and I wish I had known it was going to be HOT. Went through my entire bottle of water (about 2 standard plastic bottles worth) at the top and then went to find more water once we were at the bottom. The trail itself is very visible, great views of the beautiful blue waters, and would be great for sunset. The graffiti in some of the pillboxes is very pretty, and the pink pillbox is very inspiring and vibrant. I would recommend bringing lots of water and sunscreen on this hike, and doing it either early in the morning or late towards sunset.

6 days ago

I would say this belongs as moderate at least. It was not terribly challenging but it was definitely steep and was very hot with little shade. It was easy to find and it starts off on a cobblestone rock path that goes right up the mountain. Through some twists you will see where you need to go and there are 4 Pillboxes up top with incredible panoramic views.

hiking
7 days ago

Short but steep. Not an "easy" trail but I climbed it with my kid on my back. I would rate it a moderate hike. And don't hike at mid day...there's too much sun. Great view at the top.

10 days ago

No shade a lot of bugs

11 days ago

hiking
12 days ago

Great sunset hike. Took a four year old who had a lot of fun. Left right after the sun set and hiked the bottom half down in the dark, which was a little nerve racking with a young one but with flashlights simply from our phones we did fine. Good workout!

hiking
13 days ago

Located on Oahu’s west side, Puu o Hulu combines all the heat of Ka’ena Point with all the hill and stairs of Kammieland.

The trail head lifts off from an unmarked point along Kaukama Rd. in Waianae, but you can’t miss it. It’s smooth and partially paved with an aged cobblestone creation which only really persists for about the first hundred feet or so. As you rise higher and higher above the road below you’ll begin to note just how little shade there is to shield you from the blistering Waianae sun. Unlike the Ka’ena Point trail, which is also very exposed, Puu o Hulu doesn’t benefit from the ocean breeze and sea spray of the coastal trail. Instead, the entire trek takes place on an exposed hillside with little to nothing to offer any manner of reprieve from the heat. Without exaggeration, I can say that there are exactly two places on this hillside where you can find shade.

I’m gonna level with you here, I didn’t finish this trail.

Whichever sadist marked this trail as “Easy” though, has some serious explaining to do.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t dislike this trail. In fact, I’d love to go back under different circumstances (ie: not almost dying). But all of the factors listed on the Alltrails app here (“easy”-listing, short hike) present a very different mental picture from what you’ll actually encounter once you get there. Simply put, I was not prepared for this trail.

Read about how this trail nearly killed me here: https://astephengetty.wordpress.com/trail-blog/puu-o-hulu/

hiking
14 days ago

hiking
15 days ago

16 days ago

birding
17 days ago

This was a great hike for my toddler! 2.5 and he hiked all the way up! I carried him down bc there is some loose dirt that can be tricky... probably the easiest Pillbox hike I've done, including Lanikai, Ehukai, and Digging Hill. Very rewarding since there are 3 pillboxes up there! Going to go back!

hiking
19 days ago

A dry, hot hike. Do it early like 8am or sooner... OR at Sunset, 6pm (for sunset at 7:15) The hike up will be warm but not as bad as mid day. We call it a "Sunset Hike" its the best time and the walk back down is nice and fresh. The view the whole way is pretty if you stop to look up. It is kid friendly, but it can also be crowded... And there will always be at least 1 dog on the trail. Most people are nice. If you are taking small kids leave promptly after sun set or a little sooner to make it down before dark and beet the crowd going down. Nobody wants to feel rushed while going down the steep dry terrain

hiking
22 days ago

I agree with the reviews that said this is more moderate than easy. Steep with drop offs close along the way. Going down it's easy to slip in the dirt and loose gravel. Gorgeous views once you get to the top. Do bring lots of water.

22 days ago

hiking
23 days ago

Nice beginners hike with beautiful views of the west side. Usually very hot hike so bring plenty of water.

GO EARLY!!! Went around 9 AM and it was extremely hot. There's only a few spots to get shade so you'll feel the heat. awesome views though.

24 days ago